Around 9 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, March 12, the home of firefighter Kris Dodds caught fire. The Shawnee Heights Fire District were the first to respond to the emergency call. In addition to his work with the Topeka Fire Department, Kris Dodds volunteers with Shawnee Heights. When officials arrived on the scene just a few minutes after the fire had started, smoke was immediately apparent from all sides of the home. Dodds lived with his wife Elizabeth and their dog, who unfortunately did not make it out of the home alive.
Shawnee Heights Fire District Chief Scott Price said that the emergency responders who were on the scene were able to quickly get the fire under control, though this did not stop it from taking the life of the Dodds' pet and destroying most of the home in the process. Price told local reporters it was likely that the family had lost most, if not all, of their possessions, though a damage estimate was not available on Wednesday.
Neither Kris nor Elizabeth Dodds were at home at the time of the fire. Elizabeth was at work at the Shawnee Heights school district, while Kris was at the Topeka Fire Department. After hearing about the house fire, the station's chief drove Kris to his house, where he saw his damaged home and was given the news that his dog had been killed. The cause of the fire was later determined to be an electrical problem inside the kitchen refrigerator. The fire was ruled an accident.
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